By Clint Thompson
South Carolina’s produce season is producing sweet results with its farmers. Clemson Extension Commercial Horticulture agent Justin Ballew said fruit and vegetable farmers in the Palmetto State are enjoying a strong spring season so far.
“For the most part, we’re having a good spring. We’re in the last month of strawberry season and we’ve had a decent strawberry season for the most part. Demand has been really good this year. Folks are selling everything they pick with no problems at all,” Ballew said. “Other crops, we’ve got stuff growing pretty quickly, growing pretty well. Disease pressure has been low for the most part this year. Insect pressure hasn’t been terrible. We’re doing pretty well as far as growth.”
And with one exception, growers have experienced little problem with Mother Nature.
“The only weather-related issues we’ve had recently was from hail damage in … Chesterfield County, that area. They had some pretty tremendous damage to their peach crop up there, some strawberries and other stuff. There was one large grower up there that was affected pretty badly,” Ballew said. “There were some thunderstorms that came through and dumped a bunch of hail up there.”
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, South Carolina is the country’s No. 2 producer of peaches behind California.